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Playa Bowls serves healthy fresh fruit bowls and drinks  

The line wrapped around the building for Playa Bowls grand opening on Saturday morning.

By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer

(Aug. 3, 2023) The line was out the door on Saturday for the grand opening of Playa Bowls in the shopping center in front of Walmart on Route 50, and owner Tony Martina and his team were ready for them.

At 10 a.m., the doors opened, and fans of the fruity concoctions eagerly ordered their bowls. The first 50 people in line received a free bowl and a Playa Bowls T-shirt.

For those who are not familiar with Playa Bowls or acai (pronounced aa-saa-ee) bowls, they start with freshly made granola, which is topped with a fruit-based sorbet or thick smoothie, fruit and a drizzle of honey or other toppings like Nutella.

The options for the sorbet/smoothie layer include acai, pitaya, coconut, green, banana, or chia pudding. The base is made of fruit and emulsifiers for texture. Oatmeal is the only non-fruit base in the dairy-free product.

Every bowl is made to order. Blenders were whirling away on opening day with kale, bananas, coconut milk and other fresh ingredients.

Tony and Cassie Martina are the proprietors of Playa Bowls, which is part of a chain of about 190 stores around the country.

The concept was started by surfers Robert Giuliani and Abby Taylor in Belmar, New Jersey. The couple was inspired by the acai and pitaya bowls they enjoyed at the exotic surfing locations they visited. They decided to recreate their favorite recipes and launched the business from a food truck 10 years ago.

Tony Martina was introduced to Playa Bowls by his daughter, who took him to the Middletown store. He had a number of dietary issues that were affecting his health, but found he felt better once he switched to eating only natural foods.

He combined his own commitment to eating healthy with his business expertise and opened a Playa Bowls in Easton. Today he has three stores, Easton, Salisbury and now one in the Berlin/West Ocean City area.

“This area will enjoy what Playa Bowls has to offer, considering there are so many health-conscious people with active lifestyles here,” Martina said.

The most popular bowl is the acai, which is a berry that comes from the acai palm tree in South America.

“It’s packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It’s a superfruit,” he said, adding, “Playa Bowls has its own acai brand, which is organic and pure acai.”

The bowls are 16 ounces and are quite filling.

“I have a smoothie every morning and a bowl for lunchtime. When I travel, within about three to four days, my body craves it,” Martina said.

Not only are the bowls and smoothies healthy, but the company makes the environment a priority. The straws, bowls, cups and spoons are all biodegradable.

Martina has about 20 people on his staff in Ocean City. He expects to keep the shop open year-round.

To check out the menu visit